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Striking Compendium of Japanese and Foreign Graphic Design

Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. ("The Complete Commercial Artist"). Complete series in 24 volumes.

Tokyo: Ars, 1927–1930. Small quartos (27.5 × 19.5 cm). Original pictorial card wrappers, in the original printed cardboard slipcases; ca. 100–150 pp. Profusely illustrated in color and black-and-white. Some wear to wrappers and slipcases; one slipcase lacking; overall still very good.

A remarkable compendium of international commercial and graphic art, complete in 24 volumes, the Ars series constitutes one of the foundational documents of modern Japanese graphic design. With historical analysis and scholarly annotations by Hamada Masuji and dozens of other design journalists, educators and practitioners, with individual volumes focusing on one or more aspect of the profession, including poster design, advertising, package design, objects, shop signs, billboards, flyers and broadsides, page layout and design, and typography. Lead writer Hamada Masuji served as a passionate and forceful proponent of the commercial art field, which he dubbed "shogyo bijutsu," and targeted the series at fledgling in-house graphic design departments at Japanese manufacturing firms as well as independent shop owners who wished to imbue their environments with modern aesthetic sensibilities. Drawing on diverse visual sources from Russia, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan itself, the series reproduced thousands of completed designs and design plans for commercial retail spaces and the printed page. The final volume closes with a 100-page essay that gives expression to Hamada’s theories of commercial design as a natural culmination of modern currents in industrial production and fine art. An encyclopedic work; individual volumes regularly appear on the market, but complete sets in strong condition are rare.

Book ID: 51177

Price: $9,500.00